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Response to the verdict in the Rev. Karen Dammann Trial

Response to the verdict in the Rev. Karen Dammann Trial

The Council of Bishops reminds the church this one case does not alter the Book of Discipline regarding homosexuality or the qualifications for ministry. The Discipline's authority is unchanged. Nor does this case directly affect other Annual Conferences as they may adjudicate such cases.

We affirm our vow as bishops to uphold the Discipline of The United Methodist Church.

Together let us find, affirm, and live a common understanding of our doctrines and discipline. We are convinced that the General Conference must be a place of prayerful consideration of and agreement over our commonly held convictions and norms for Christian teaching and living.

The Council of Bishops is painfully aware of this disagreement. In such moments as this, we remember that our unity in Christ does not depend on unanimity of opinion. Rather, in Jesus Christ we are bound together by love that transcends our differences and calls us to stay at the table with one another.

Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends." (I Corinthians 12:31b, 13:4-8a)

March 25, 2004

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